How our unconscious plays a role in how we understand environmental issues
Did you know that factory farms give antibiotics, to make their animals grow bigger and that accounts for almost any animal products you buy at major stores? When I came across this information I was completely shocked partly because I had a hard time believing it. I was already aware of the terrible living conditions but antibiotics were news to me. However it all makes sense; when animals are forced to live in crowed conditions and fall to their own feces as a result of their heavy bodies, they become more susceptible to disease.
Initially I found it hard to believe, because like any informed person I asked my self: How could the practices of factory farming impact my health when I am perfectly healthy 365 days out of the year, and all my doctor check ups indicate that I am in great condition? To Add to that, almost all grocery stores and super markets receive about 90 percent of their products from factory farms. These places are the main sources of where almost all Americans get their groceries, so to extend this question, we might also ask: If we are all consuming these harmful products then shouldn’t we see a spike in diseases and the quality of health dropping everyday? A suitable answer to this question would require a close look at the book by Howard Gardner called “changing minds”.
The reality is that the statistics surrounding the health of many Americans is dropping; and the prevalence of diseases and food born illness is increasingly getting worse, so why are we disillusioned to think otherwise?
According to Gardner most people don’t make direct associations between two separate constituents when they are far from our regular lives. Factory farms are far from where we live, we don’t know what’s happening because they are closed off from us, so when people go to buy groceries they are more often reading nutrition labels to make healthier choice. They are not always thinking about the condition of the food because there’s an assumption that the food would not be there if it was bad for them. The other part of the story is that, while the foods may not cause instant health issues, they are however detrimental in the long run. Since the risks increase over time people also don’t make the connection that it has something to do with what they are eating. Many people are resistant to changing their views because they cant make the connection. Many individual can go on eating red meat and all the junk in the world and it doesn’t show physically, then one day they become sick from it and decide that well I’ve been eating whatever I want all my life it never effected me so it can’t be that. Another unconscious mistake that many make is: they don’t think that they have an impact because they aren’t the ones performing the actual job. How could I possibly be responsible for factory farming malpractices if I am not even a farmer? They don’t know that by simply changing their shopping habits they can make a huge difference. It’s because we think we are the only ones engaging in such behaviors therefore no change can be made. However we must all be conscious of our choices and aware of our impact on every level of our human experience.